Carole Blake
29 September 1946 - 25 October 2016

The Times | The Bookseller | Publishers Weekly | Publishing Perspectives Bookbrunch by Isobel Dixon | London Book Fair Hub
The CWA by Peter James | The RNA by Caroline Sheldon  
Elizabeth Chadwick | Liz Fenwick | Paul Finch | Liz Thomson | Stella Duffy 
The Bookseller on Blake Friedmann’s Open Doors Project
'Carole Blake named Agent of the Year at the RNAs' in The Bookseller | 'Carole Blake remembered at funeral' by Liz Thompson
'The Jewel' by Isobel Dixon | 'Heavenly Ops'  by Jan Jones

Carole Blake was the recipient of the Pandora Award 2013 for ‘significant and sustained contribution to the publishing industry’.

Carole Blake worked in publishing for 52 years. She started in a secretarial position with a small team at Rainbirds, the packagers, working on a multi-volume art encyclopaedia.  After eight years of progression through the company, she then became the first-ever Rights Manager for Michael Joseph, selling an enviable list of authors through the early '70s into paperback, bookclub, foreign markets and film.

She was headhunted to start W H Allen's first rights department (selling Andre Brink's first novels around the world among others), then approached to become Marketing Director of Sphere.  In 1977, after 14 years in publishing, Carole started her own literary agency which merged in 1982 with Julian Friedmann's agency to become Blake Friedmann.  It is an editorially-based agency with strong emphasis on selling a wide range of rights for their clients. The company was chosen as one of only twelve British agencies commended by the Society of Authors in their first survey of literary agents some years ago.

She was a past President of the Association of Authors' Agents.  During her term as President she instigated and produced a survey of royalty statements that led to many British publishers radically changing the content and style of their royalty statements.

Carole was the past Chairman of the Society of Bookmen (now The Book Society), only the second female Chair since the Society was founded in 1921, and was a member of the advisory board for City University's post-graduate publishing course, and UCLA's post-graduate publishing course.  She was a board member for the book trade charity, The Book Trade Charity (BTBS) for eleven years, and served as Chairman from 2004 until 2007, and President from 2007-2013: then became Patron for the charity.  Carole was Chairman of the judges for BBC TV's 8-hour short story competition series 'End of Story' broadcast in 2004, and wrote a regular 'Agent's Diary' for Mslexia magazine for several years. She was an Associate Vice President of the Romantic Novelists' Association.

Carole's book, FROM PITCH TO PUBLICATION: Everything You Need To Know To Get Your Novel Published, was published in August 1999 by Macmillan.  They reprinted three weeks after publication, and twice again in the first year of publication, a UK book club made it their main choice and bought 30,000 copies.  It is now in its 19th UK printing and is used by publishing companies and literary agencies to train new staff and is prescribed reading on many post-graduate publishing studies and creative writing courses. It has been reviewed widely in British national papers and magazines, and in Ireland, Australia, South Africa, Holland and Israel.

Carole Blake celebrated 50 years in publishing in 2013. See a gallery of photos from the party to celebrate here.

'... a shocking, and at times disheartening, read for aspiring authors.'  -- The Times
'Carole Blake writes lucidly and with a light touch ... an invaluable guide.'  -- The Daily Mail
'... an ideal set-text for anyone studying publishing.' -- The Independent
'... hugely informative ... an exceptional chapter on contracts and a brilliantly funny hit list.' -- The Bookseller
'Stunningly comprehensive ... it serves as an essay on the current state of the publishing industry, offering not just information but structured arguments and opinions, thus making it of interest to members of the trade as well as to authors.  It can be read not only from the point of view of getting a novel published but by people wanting to get ahead in the industry or be an agent themselves.' -- InPrint (journal of The Society of Young Publishers). 
'It's honest and practical, and I know if it had been around when I was young, I'd have published my first novel long before I was 42.' -- Maeve Binchy, The Daily Mail
'Wish I could have seen it years ago!  Almost on every page I experienced the Nabokovian thrill of recognition or approval.  And I shall make sure that it is highly recommended for each one of my Creative Writing students.' -- Andre Brink